70 The Suspicious Neighbour*
Rassa had just been thinking it had been uneventful for too long when she showed up. For a prisoner, she smelled rather clean. The Guards just showed up one morning and tossed her into the cell beside Rassa's. She begged and pleaded, and Rassa had to commend her acting. If not for the smell of some floral perfume, he would have probably believed she truly was a prisoner.
Though it did make him happy to know that Zaroth hadn't worked out how heightened his senses were.
The sobbing that originated in that cell for the next few hours was ignored. Rassa had been attempting to rest when she was thrown in, so having that interrupted wasn't earning her any sympathy points. In fact, Rassa found it quite irritating that the space that had been his for the past three years was being invaded. Sure, it was a prison, but all those hours he'd spent inside it alone, he couldn't help but call it his. When rest turned out to be a dead end, Rassa picked up the white rock and started drawing again. He'd gotten better over the years, at least in his opinion. Not like anyone really commented on his erratic drawings. He was working on a Sanguine mark at the moment. He'd thought for a long time what he wanted his mark to be. He didn't want to just copy Victor's use of flowers. Though they were always beautiful, it felt too impersonal for Rassa to use them. In the end, he'd decided on the first thing that had made him enjoy his new life. The Moon.
The moon itself was obviously pretty easy to draw, even the phases of the moon were the same. The circle, crescents and incomplete circles were just shapes, they didn't seem to have any personality to them. Rassa had filled the shapes with patterns. Seemingly erratic and chaotic, just like his Life Lines. It served as a sufficient distraction from the young woman next door. The woman who, upon acknowledging the fact that Rassa was purposefully ignoring her, became increasingly frustrated.
Rassa could not actually see her thanks to the solid wall between them, but that didn't mean he couldn't hear it as her lips uttered near silent curses, and her fists clenched in annoyance.
It was nearly twelve hours before Rassa learned her name, and that was only due to Zaroth's visit with another slave.
The slave shivered in fear as it was pushed into Rassa's cell, the Vampire too preoccupied with his drawing to care about him.
"Rassa, your meal is here," Zaroth prompted.
Rassa ignored Zaroth, he would feed when he was good and ready to.
Zaroth, like always, was not to be deterred, "If you do not wish to feed we can take him back".
The slave ran back to the cell door at these words, though the door didn't actually open.
Rassa rolled his eyes, "Should you not feed your house guest as well? Can't imagine why you would put her in the cell beside me though, really a poor choice of accommodations. The arrangement doesn't suit either of us".
"So you've met Seri?" asked Zaroth, sounding pleased.
"I've listened to her whine and moan for the past half a day," Rassa replied, "It's really quite irritating".
Rassa caught the sound of the small gasp from the woman next door, though it was quiet enough that he shouldn't have heard it, so he didn't react. Not that he had to try hard. She was exceptionally boring.
"Seri here was charged with theft from the mine, it seems to be an increasing occurrence these days. The cells above were full so you understand, I'm sure," Zaroth pressed.
Lies. All lies. Rassa could hear the stuttering beat of his heart, smell the sweat on his palms. To anyone else that was present, Zaroth probably sounded quite convincing, a practiced liar, but he couldn't hide his body's natural reaction, the thrill it got from convincing others of falsities.
"Sounds like a mighty big problem there, Doc. Perhaps you could save some money and feed a few to me instead of just locking them up or buying more slaves," Rassa stated. He was across the cell in an instant, one hand around the waist of the slave and the other covering the slave's eyes as he tilted the young man's head back to expose his neck. Rassa was large enough to meet the height of an adult slave now. And considering how neglected the slaves were, there were often times when Rassa's imposing presence dwarfed them.
"After all," Rassa stated as he let his fangs extend, "I'm not opposed to an extra meal".
His fangs sunk into the neck of the slave as he looked over to the other cell, meeting the eyes of Seri as he did so. He saw her fear, but he also saw her intrigue. She was a very pretty young woman, but her beauty didn't change the fact that she was most likely a spy sent by Zaroth.
Zaroth didn't look at all phased by Rassa's display. But then, Rassa had long learned that Zaroth thought he was the ruler of this little mine, that everything in it was beneath him. He had a rude awakening coming his way.
The slave dropped to the floor, and Rassa switched his gaze to Zaroth.
"Either remove her, or feed her to me. She has no business trying to garner sympathy from me," Rassa threatened, then he turned and went back to his drawing on the opposite side of the cell.
"What are you drawing today?" asked Zaroth, ignoring Rassa's threat.
Rassa didn't deign to give a reply, just kept on carving with the white rock, of which there were less and less he found in his little cell.
The cell door was unlocked, and the slave dragged out. Rassa never bothered to attempt an escape, as they'd set up a two-door system when Rassa's behaviour started becoming more violent. The second door could only be unlocked from the outside, and only after the first door was closed. As much as Rassa would love to test it, no one was stupid enough to come into his cell arrogantly anymore, let alone unlock a door for him.
Despite his insistence, Seri was left in her cell. Leaving her and Rassa in, thankfully, a silent darkness once more.